[Taxacom] Paper on one fly, but of general significance

Fred Schueler bckcdb at istar.ca
Sun Dec 1 07:28:54 CST 2013


Quoting Perochaeta cuirassa <sepsidnet at gmail.com>:

> The discussion in this thread also illustrates that the focus
> of most descriptions is still today's diagnostic characters. This is fine
> for the descriptions itself because we can't anticipate what may be
> important in the future. But we now have quick and cheap ways (high quality
> digital photography) to illustrate more and prepare for future developments.

* I'll just step in here on behalf of careful biological illustrators,  
and say that this has been their historic role - several times, in  
preparing illustrations, the wife has pointed out characteristics of  
the specimens being illustrated which the taxonomist hadn't noticed,  
so that these could be added to the text of the description. Having  
the specimen drawn is a stage of peer review which a digital  
photograph deletes from the process of description. It's unfortunate  
that there's as little support for careful biological illustration as  
for any aspect of systematics in these latter days.

fred schueler
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